Featuring cherita!

March 19, 2015

Poetry Friday--Ch Challenge Continued

Last week I presented a few of my musical connections to Heidi Mordhurst's March ch word challenge. I'm going to continue this week.

March 12, word: "pitch"

I thought of pine tar and pine pitch when I first saw the word. I was wondering if pine tar and pitch were the same thing, so I thought I'd start with the dictionary. Lo, and behold, there was no definition for pitch being a pine resin product! There were at least a dozen definitions of pitch, but not the one I was looking for. But, the abundance of definitions gave me an idea for my poem:
Mr. Peeps a.k.a. the Perfect Pitch Pirate

Filthy from pine pitch and stinking
of rum still his mateys love
the timbre and pitch of his voice.
They spend hours rapt in his tales
of heroics and bonnie young things.

Like the pitch of a snake oil salesman
Mr. Peeps grabs their attention and
doesn't let go until the sale is made.

Any helmsman who dares steer
into a swell will find himself
pitched overboard if he causes
the ship to pitch and roll.
Ship mates brought to
an emotional pitch become
testy if a story is interrupted.

The captain knows the pitched
battle never comes when Peeps
is telling his tales. Cap'n no
longer pitches a fit, for in
the pitch black night no one
notices him sitting there listening
with his thumb in his mouth
thinking of his dear, old, mum.

Mr. Peeps' stories'll do that to a man.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Of course, when I think of pirate songs I think of "Drunken Sailor" or "Fifteen Men (On a Dead Man's Chest)," but "The Drunk Scotsman" is more reflective of the type of story I see my pirate telling (warning: may not be suitable for all ages):

March 13, word: "arch"

First a video for a little background:

Arch of Triumph of the Star
(You Up for It, Mr. Godefroy?)

They make us march
with foot soldiers--
those who have no
connection to stars!

They make light of us!
We are the future.
We've conquered the enemy.
We've conquered the skies!

Il faut!
They underestimate us.
We will plan carefully.
Study the arch, the air,
le bébé Nieuport.

L’appel du vide!

We will do it--fly through
l'Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile.
We will touch the heavens.
We will honor this land.

Ça te dit?

14 Juillet, 1919

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

It seems that when World War I ended there was a great celebration at the Arc de Triomphe. Pilots were made to march through the arch with common foot soldiers, which they resented doing. So, Charles Godefroy, was selected to exact revenge, and, to make history. He flew through the Arc de Triomphe three weeks later on August 7. Poems I write about historical events or periods I refer to as "poehistry."

Here's a little novelty musical recording about flying from 1911:

This week's ch words are chocky-block full of song connections. Monday "inch": "Garden Song" by Dave Mallett. Tuesday "lurch": What else but "The Addams Family" theme song? Thursday "lunch": "Sandwiches" by Fred Penner (I can't tell you how many times we sang this when my kids were young!) The poems I wrote, however, were not at all connected to the songs that sprung to mind!

It's time to send you hither and yon in pursuit of poetry. Catherine at Reading to the Core is hosting the Round-Up this week.


  1. I love the idea of the pilot flying through l'Arc de Triomphe, that was new to me. And I love the pirates. My son was slow to way his R's, and we promised him if he could say his R's like a pirate, we would take him to a RRRRollerrrrcoaster. He started rolling his R's like a Scotsman, and I was proud to have had a part in it. LOL

    1. I would have loved to have heard your wee Scotsman!

  2. Always learn something new here and I always enjoy your sense of humor and how you creatively merge poetry with history, music, art, and random tidbits. Had not heard "The Drunken Scotsman" before and I like the name Mr. Peeps for a pirate. :D And so cool about that pilot flying through the Arc de Triomphe! Thanks for mentioning Mallet and his "Garden Song." I had almost forgotten about him -- saw him perform live a time or two and have his CDs, which I haven't listened to in ages.

    1. Isn't "The Drunken Scotsman" a hoot? It certainly made my day when I first found it!

  3. Lots of riCHness here today, Diane - Heidi's challenge is wonderful, and I regret not being able to pop in there more often this month. I did know the Scotsman's song but hadn't heard in a while - thanks for the CHuckle!!

    1. I'd love to hear it live and be a part of the singing crowd.

  4. I missed your "arch" poem when it first appeared -- spot on! Love "poehistry" -- kind of your specialty, eh?

  5. I love both of your poems, Diane, and that video of the plane flying through the Arc de Triomphe was amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. The fact that we can find bits of filmed history online in a matter of seconds is even more amazing!

  6. Cripes, all those definitions of pitch! Well done rolling them all into one li'l ol' poem. I'm also going to say ditto to what Jama wrote. You ARE a master at weaving so many different "tidbits" into your work, and making each read a fascinating one.

    1. That's what being curious will do for you! I'm nothing if not curious!